13 May 2012

Softball: A section split

Allie Rice grand slam home run, 5 RBI (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington  earned a split in a doubleheader against Section 1 competition played Friday in Rochester, pounding Rochester Century 11-0 in the nightcap after falling 4-0 to Owatonna in the opener.

The split leaves the Tigers with a season record of 11-4 and 9-3 in Missota Conference play with two league games remaining.

"We got pounded around against New Prague and Owatonna," Tiger coach Paul Harrington said, "so it felt good to turn the tables on Century.

"It was good to see Ashley (Betzold) come back strong after a rough outing against Owatonna. Hopefully our bad games are out of the way."

The Tigers rapped 11 hits in the shutout win over Century, including a pair of home runs, a two-run shot by Toni Hunsinger in the third inning and a grand slam blast by Allie Rice in the fourth.

Rice finished with five runs batted in and Hunsinger knocked in three. Betzold also had a pair of hits for the winners.

Betzold started in the circle and went the first four innings to post her 11th win of the season. Hunsinger threw two innings of shutout relief.

Toni Hunsinger HR, 3 RBI (photo by Jim Lindquist)
In the opener, Owatonna scored solo suns in the second, fifth, sixth and seventh innings and played errorless ball in the field in handing the Tigers their first shutout of the season.

"We didn't challenge them too much with our offense," Harrington said. "Fourteen of their 21 outs were fly balls or pop-ups."

The Huskies touched Betzold for 12 hits and the Farmington defense made a couple of errors to that didn't help the cause.

Owatonna pitcher Megan Scheid struck out only one batter but consistently had the Tigers hitting under the ball.

Scheid took a no-hitter into the fifth before Taylor Haakana stroked a double for the only Tiger hit of the game.

"Owatonna will be another tough team that we will need to deal with in the playoffs," Harrington said.

Tuesday the Tigers host Chanhassen in a game that could well decide the 2012 Missota Conference championship.

"We can control our own destiny," Harrington said. "If we win that one and beat Red Wing on Thursday we are conference champs. It's Senior Night, too, so that will add even more excitement."